Michael Thomas


President/Managing Director // Thomas International Group (TIG)

Michael Thomas is a Certified Public Accountant and licensed Customs Broker who founded Thomas International Group (TIG) in December 1994. Mr. Thomas brings over 20 years of experience in trade and international tax matters to his clients and the international trade community. Serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ), and a member of Oil Refinery Task Force, he has worked extensively with representatives of industry and government in developing workable solutions to issues facing Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) in many industries, but particularly petroleum and petrochemical refineries. He enjoys working closely with local government representatives and members of the business community in identifying common grounds upon which to enhance the utility of Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) programs and other global trade initiatives. Additionally, Mr. Thomas is an active member of the Trade Support Network working with CBP in developing the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and continues serving on a NAFTZ task force working with CBP to effect automation of FTZ admissions. Within his firm, Thomas International Group, he oversees the evolution, development and maintenance of creative information management solutions for administration, accounting, and reporting required for global trade programs. Mr. Thomas’s industry involvement includes petroleum, petrochemicals, chemicals, hi-tech process companies; light manufacturing, heavy equipment manufacturing, automotive supply, consumer products, and various service sectors. In addition to his expertise in NAFTA consulting and compliance, he has worked extensively with clients to develop and pursue global optimization strategies, apply for FTZ status, activate FTZ sites, implement Drawback programs, resolve various international issues, evaluate and optimize existing customs duty management programs, and investigate potential business activities in foreign venues. Mr. Thomas’s professional experience includes over 10 years of working with global clients as a member of several international public accounting firms. He studied engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas and holds a BS degree in Finance from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

“The NAFTZ has been a beacon for promoting U.S. manufacturing and commerce on a global scale, while continuously working to provide tools that help to level the playing field for U.S. companies here at home competing with multinational companies. I first considered applying for the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors after seeing how the many volunteers at all levels within the NAFTZ have made and continue to make significant impacts toward improving trade and trade processes across many industries. I am hopeful to provide some small contribution to continue and expand that effort.”